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Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Jul 2;47(W1):W632-W635. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz407.

VOLPES: an interactive web-based tool for visualizing and comparing physicochemical properties of biological sequences.

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Department of Structural and Computational Biology, Max Perutz Labs, University of Vienna, Campus Vienna Biocenter 5, 1030 Vienna, Austria.


The structure, dynamics and, ultimately, biological function of proteins and nucleic acids are determined by the physicochemical properties of their primary sequences. Such properties are frequently captured via one-dimensional profile plots depicting a given physicochemical variable as a function of sequence position. Hydrophobicity, charge or structural disorder in proteins or nucleobase-density in nucleic acids are routinely visualized in this manner to analyze sequences at a glance. Such visualizations, however, are typically created case-by-case in a purely static manner, employ fixed visualization parameters only and do not enable a quantitative comparison between different sequences. Here, we present VOLPES (, a user-friendly web server and the corresponding JavaScript library that enable a fully interactive, multifunctional visualization, analysis and comparison of the physicochemical properties of protein and nucleic-acid sequences, allowing unprecedented insight into biological sequence data and creating a starting point for further in-depth exploration.

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